Forced to station themselves in Cornwall for the year whilst the king strengthens his hold on the ever rebellious nation, our good knights return the hospitality of Sir Therbert by riding the rounds of his lands and dispensing justice.
They have not traveled far when they come across a strangely quiet tin mine – it is soon apparent that the miners and the families have been abducted or slain, and blood trials and footprints lead deeper into the woods.
Whilst pursuing their quarry our good knights encounter once again the mysterious Merlin. In his usually abrupt style, he summons them and says, “if you would do your country a service, and protect realm, then follow me and be ready for battle!
Wasting no time in further explanation, the enigmatic Archdruid leads the group to a highly defensible mound of rocks in a clearing. Without slowing his pace, he shouts back over his shoulder that they should prepare the ground, and await for his return sometime before sunset.
Our team of knights prepare themselves as best they can, and after a wait of about three hours, Merlin returns, shouting loudly has he runs at surprising speed, cradling a bundle of rags “to arms, to arms, protect the realm, protect the future of Logres!” With that he is gone, and in the distance a crashing fo horses and shouts of ‘Merlin’ are hear in the forest.
Braced for attack our stout defenders waste no time in striking at the enemy, but manage to stay their hands at the last minute when they see Sir Brastias himself leading these men! With a cry of “ignore these traitors, we take the kidnapper!” the Champion of the king rushes into the forest once more in pursuit of Merlin.
Our knights find themselves in dire straits – they make their way to Sir Therbert, and throw themselves on his mercy. He incarcerates them in comfortable quarters, but asks where is Sir Alain? Only now do the Salisbury men realise they have lost their companion in the woods. Three days later the much bedraggled Alain emerges at Castle Terrabil. But by this time the full story is known…
Queen Ygrain has had a son, and the demon spawn Merlin has abducted it for his own vile reasons! Suspicion falls on all our knights, but on Alain most strongly; where has he been these last three days?!
At the behest of the queen, and by the orders of the kings court, Sir Alain is put to the question by the fervent Father Dewi. For many weeks he holds out, till even the king himself must admit that the man knows nothing of the abduction.
By his stout heart Sir Alain has saved the lives of not only his brother knights of Salisbury, but some thirty other knights who were similarly bewitched by Merlin into aiding him in his crimes. Each man there knows that had the valiant Alain crumbled under his cruel torments they would all have died. From that day forth Sir Alain was known as the Staunch, and the knightly brotherhood of Merlins Fall was formed by those whom he had saved through his courage.
Sentenced to Journey to London to be purged of Merlins taint by the Bishop Dubricus of London, our knights head home, glad to be out of the kings court, especially to be away from the queen and those loyal to her (who are far less forgiving than the king!).
And as for Merlin and the babe… who knows where they may be…